I have recently realized that much of my religious life has been lived as though I was bodyguard to Jesus instead of being His obedient servant. But in my recent pilgrimage of seeking truth and the true Way, my eyes have been opened to many things.
When thinking about this my mind went almost immediately to Peter... How that it was Peter who had rebuked the Lord when He foretold of His own death in Matthew 16... "Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee." or how about the time in John 18 when he reacted so militantly... "Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear." And we all know of Peter's denial of following Christ which I feel gives us the idea that Peter viewed himself as Jesus bodyguard rather than His servant... "And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not."
But even though all of this is true about Peter... and we should be very quick to take it as a warning to all who will follow Christ; we must also understand that many many times in our dealing with others at some time or another we have reacted defensively as if we were protecting Jesus instead of being the meek humble servant that would best represent our Lord.
I remember one certain night that I wish I could erase from my memory. I was out on the street preaching and holding signs when a man, a good bit older than me had angered me while trying to explain a biblical truth to him... When the conversation had reached its boiling point I swiftly spoke to this man in a very unkind manner and insulted him greatly. I was immediately rebuked from within but was too stubborn to apologize to this man who had insulted my Lord. An hour or so later that man returned and I was able to apologize, but I quickly saw that I had ruined any chance of reaching him that night.
Now I'm sure that some of you will jump to the conclusion that I am insinuating that we as true believers should compromise in order to reach others who are in sin; but you can rest assured that that is not what I mean. Jesus words are swift, they cut very deep, and as His servants we need not go around acting is though we are the clean-up crew for the Kingdom of God. Christ's words are condemning enough without us making the lost feel as though we are out performing some burdensome duty for our Boss.
In Matthew chapter 5 Jesus is giving a list of those who would be considered blessed in their walk with Him... he sums up that list by saying this... "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." Brothers and sisters I ask you... What could Jesus have meant by saying "Ye are the salt of the earth"? I believe He is saying that children, your lives will be watched! In the times of joyful bliss as well as in times of great suffering and tribulation... you WILL be watched! When you take My name to a lost sinful world they will put your faith in Me on trial to see if your following Me has truly given you contentment, understanding and peace... has this Jesus that you speak of proven to be more satisfying than all that this world could dare to offer you?... Is He truly the Way, Truth and Life?... or is serving Him a burden that steals your joy and binds you down? They will see this in how we handle ourselves in this blessed Way.
Nowhere in the Bible do we find that Jesus will say to us on that great day... "Well done my good and faithful bodyguard... you were faithful to rebuke sinners when they said something mean and untrue about Me... you lost your temper when trying to reach those who would not open their eyes and see the truth... your outward appearance was wonderful but was overshadowed by your defensive countenance... Good Job!" This kind of thinking is completely against Jesus' teaching on not returning evil for evil. It seems as though today that we are too driven to find the "perfect" situation for our Christian lives... so that we may serve Him more effectively. This kind of thinking produces nothing more that discontentment and ultimately a sour countenance and rude disposition.
Friends, I know that we all get frustrated while living in this dark world, but let us not forget that when we are living among and boldly speaking to others... that if we do not display the truth of Christ coupled with the meekness of Christ that we may be doing more harm than good. With so many denominations and religious sects out there, society has seen its share of individuals witnessing in the name of Christ who are saturated with bitterness and duty. So be it far from us who claim to walk this narrow path to be found guilty of making others feel as though we are better than them, but rather let us hold to truth with the understanding that we are considered the very seasoning that will give proof to a lost hopeless world that our hope is in Christ... and let us do this with joy and contentment in our hearts as His servants.
Jesus needs no bodyguards!